Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, February 1, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 138

Prayer Point. Psalm 138 gives us a number of reasons to praise God. Pick one or two that speak to you and use those to offer your own prayer of thanksgiving.

John 6:16-27

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. For a teacher like Jesus the world was the classroom and life was the curriculum. He wasted no opportunity to teach his disciples.  In yesterday’s reading, he tested his disciples by asking them to provide bread to five thousand people; an impossible task with little or no money.  At the end of that difficult and tiring day, the disciples sail across Sea of Galilee without Jesus and straight into a storm.  The sea was regarded in those days as as place of evil and ferocious power precisely because of storms such as these.

Pay close attention to …

  • How the disciples react to seeing Jesus walking across the water towards them.  If the sea was the most powerful known natural force, what does this say about Jesus’ power?
  • Why the crowds pursued Jesus across the lake.
  • The food Jesus encourages the crowd to work for and why it is greater than the miracle bread and fish he had just given them (see John 6:1-15).

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Hebrews 10:26-39

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points?You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. Today’s reading begins with a quite a stark warning:

Hebrews 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin is left.

The truth that the author refers to is Jesus and the sin he speaks of is abandoning Jesus. If we don’t have Jesus, we have no sacrifice left for our sin. What are we left with if there is no sacrifice for sin?

Now put yourselves again in the shoes of the original readers of the book of Hebrews. They are a group of Jewish Christians who are struggling under persecution. How do verses 26-31 serve as a warning to you?

What does the writer of Hebrews want these struggling Christians to remember in verses 32-34? What is promised to those who persevere in their faith?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Genesis 18:1-16

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points?You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. 

The appearance of the three visitors at the opening of this chapter is universally recognized as a manifestation of God.

How does Abraham acknowledge his three visitors?
[He runs toward them (at ninety-nine years of age – this shows that he thought they were very important); he bows to the ground (a not uncommon method of greeting in that part of the world and at that time); and offers them refreshment.  He appears to be greatly honored by these visitors.]

What kind of a feast does Abraham prepare?
[Abraham has Sarah make some bread; he goes to the herd and selects “a choice, tender calf” and has that prepared; he gets curds and milk.  {It must have taken several hours for all this to be done.  I guess his three visitors had no pressing business elsewhere.)

What is their (the three visitors) interest in Sarah?
[“I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” v. 18:10]

What is Sarah doing while this conversation is going on?
[She is eavesdropping… and laughs at the notion that she will have a baby by next year.]

What does Isaac mean again?  Do you begin to “get” the Lord’s sense of humor?

What did the LORD then say?  
[Why did Sarah laugh?  {Why not?  That’s what her husband did when he first heard from the Lord that he was going to father a child at ninety-nine.}]

What did Sarah say in response to this?
[“I did not laugh.”  But he said, “Yes, you did laugh” v. 18:15 NIV]

Where were the visitors headed as they left?
[They were headed for Sodom.]

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

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